1. Main points
Provisional analysis shows there were 11.0 suicide deaths per 100,000 people in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2022 in England, equivalent to 1,384 deaths registered; while this rate is statistically significantly higher than the rate in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2022, it is similar to the rates seen in the third quarter of previous years.
The rates seen in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar), Quarter 2 and Quarter 3 in 2022 are consistent with the rates seen in Quarters 1 to 3 in previous years; the exception is 2020, which saw a decrease in suicide rates because of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the coroner’s inquests, and a decrease in male suicides at the start of the pandemic.
In the provisional Quarter 3 2022 data, there were 16.8 suicide deaths per 100,000 males (1,034 deaths registered) and 5.5 suicide deaths per 100,000 females (350 deaths registered).
Suicide rates for males seen in Quarter 3 2022 were statistically significantly higher compared with Quarter 2 2022; otherwise, rates for males and females were consistent with rates seen in the third quarter of previous years.
In Quarter 3 2022, London had the lowest suicide rate of any region of England (7.7 suicide deaths per 100,000), while the highest rate was in the North East (14.8 suicide deaths per 100,000).
For suicides, the median registration delay increased from 169 days in Quarter 3 2021 to 198 days in Quarter 3 2022.
If you are a journalist covering a suicide-related issue, please consider following the Samaritans' media guidelines on the reporting of suicide because of the potentially damaging consequences of irresponsible reporting. In particular, the guidelines advise on terminology and include links to sources of support for anyone affected by the themes in the article.
If you are struggling to cope, please call Samaritans for free on 116 123 (UK and the Republic of Ireland) or contact other sources of support, such as those listed on the NHS help for suicidal thoughts webpage. Support is available round the clock, every single day of the year, providing a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them.Back to table of contents
2. Quarterly suicides
Fewer than one in three of the suicides registered so far in 2022 had a date of death that was also in 2022
The analysis reported in this release cannot be used to show the number of suicides with a date of death in 2022. See our Deaths from suicide that occurred in England and Wales: April and December 2020 article for further information on suicide during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Of the 3,899 suicides registered in England in 2022, 30.6% of these had a date of death that was also in 2022 (1,193 deaths). This is in line with expectations, given coroner involvement with the investigation of these deaths, and the amount of time it takes to hold an inquest.
All deaths caused by suicide in England are investigated by coroners. Given the length of time it takes to hold an inquest, most deaths are registered around six to seven months after they occurred.
In Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2022, 3.8% of the 1,314 suicides registered in this period had a date of death in the same period (50 deaths). The remaining deaths occurred in 2021 or before (96.2%). This is in line with the figures seen in previous years.
In Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2022, 2.7% of the 1,201 suicides registered in this period had a date of death in the same period (33 deaths). The remaining deaths occurred in Quarter 1 2022 (24.5%) or earlier (72.8%).
In Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2022, 2.6% of the 1,384 suicides registered in this period had a date of death in the same period (36 deaths). The remaining deaths registered in Quarter 3 occurred in Quarter 1 2022 (34.3%), Quarter 2 2022 (22.0%) or before 2022 (41.0%).
|Quarter of occurrence|
|Prior to 2022||Q1||Q2||Q3||Total |
|Quarter of |
|Q1||1,264 (96.2%)||50 (3.8%)||-||-||1,314|
|Q2||874 (72.8%)||294 (24.5%)||33 (2.7%)||-||1,201|
|Q3||568 (41.0%)||475 (34.3%)||305 (22.0%)||36 (2.6%)||1,384|
Download this table Table 1: Quarterly registered number and percentage of suicides by date of occurrence, England, provisional 2022 registrations.xls .csv
3. Quarterly suicide data
Deaths caused by suicide by quarter in England
Dataset | Released 9 December 2022
Provisional rate and number of suicide deaths registered in England per quarter. Includes 2001 to 2021 registrations and provisional data for Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) to Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2022.
This release is based on the National Statistics' definition of suicide. This definition includes all deaths from intentional self-harm for persons aged 10 years and over. It also includes deaths where the intent was undetermined for those aged 15 years and over. For further information on the definition used, please see our Suicides in England and Wales Statistical bulletins.
Year of registration
Figures are based on deaths registered in each calendar year, rather than the date on which the death occurred.
The registration delay refers to the time lag between the date of death (that is, when the death occurred) and the date the death was registered. For further information on the impact of registration delays, see Section 7 of our Suicide rates in the UK Quality and Methodology Information (QMI).
Age-standardised mortality rate
Age-standardised mortality rate in this bulletin refers to a weighted average of the age-specific mortality rates per 100,000 people and is standardised to the 2013 European Standard Population. They allow for differences in the age structure of populations and therefore allow valid comparisons to be made between geographic areas, the sexes and over time. For more information, see Section 8 of our Suicide rates in the UK QMI.
The term "significant" refers to changes or differences based on unrounded figures. You can find out more about statistical significance in our Uncertainty and how we measure it for our surveys methodology. Significance has been determined using a 95% confidence interval, where instances of non-overlapping confidence intervals between figures indicate the difference is unlikely to have arisen from random fluctuation. For more information, see Section 8 of our Suicide rates in the UK QMI.Back to table of contents
5. Measuring the data
Figures are for deaths registered, rather than deaths occurring in each quarter. For deaths caused by suicide, around half of the deaths registered each year will have occurred in the previous year, or earlier, because of the length of time it takes to hold a coroner's inquest.
Further information on registration delays and their impact can be found in our Suicide rates in the UK QMI.
Quarterly age-standardised rates
Calculation of mortality rates for quarterly deaths requires adjustments to be made to annual population estimates, to calculate rates that are comparable with annual rates. Further information is detailed in our accompanying Deaths caused by suicide by quarter in England datasets.
More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in our Suicide rates in the UK QMI.Back to table of contents
6. Strengths and limitations
This release aims to monitor suicide death registrations in England, based on the best available provisional data.
Quarterly data for 2022 are provisional and may be subject to changes once annual death registrations are complete. Data for 2022 will be finalised in the annual Suicides in England and Wales release in 2023.
Quarterly age-standardised rates are included to aid interpretation, such as whether changes by quarter in a given registration year are statistically meaningful. This is especially important when interpreting low numbers of deaths, which are prone to random fluctuation and volatility over time.
Our Suicide rates in the UK QMI contains further detail on the strengths and limitations of suicide registration figures.Back to table of contents
8. Cite this statistical bulletin
Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 9 December 2022, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Quarterly suicide death registrations in England: 2001 to 2021 registrations and Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) to Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2022 provisional data
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
Telephone: +44 2075 928651